Florida’s Public Service Commission today accepted a Verizon Florida LLC (Verizon) $2 million settlement agreement for apparent violation of PSC service standards. Verizon customers will receive $1.75 million in credits as part of the agreement. The remaining $250,000 will be split, with $125,000 earmarked to promote the Lifeline Assistance (Lifeline) discount telephone program, and $125,000 going to the state’s General Revenue Fund.
Verizon will also provide Lifeline discounts to all eligible customers who request the discount and receive regulated telecommunications service packages. Verizon had previously denied Lifeline discounts, a $13.50 credit per month on local phone bills, to applicants who selected the company’s bundled packages. Verizon customers eligible for Lifeline service should contact the company, or visit the PSC’s Web site to sign up, www.floridapsc.com.
“We are pleased the company participated in this settlement that benefits its customers,” said PSC Chairman Matthew M. Carter II. “Lifeline customers should not be excluded from choosing the telecommunications services they need.”
In January, the PSC ordered Verizon to show cause why it should not be penalized for taking too long to restore customers’ landline phone service. Verizon failed to restore service to customers within the PSC-required time frame for 262 apparent violations in 2007 and 194 in 2008. A PSC analysis revealed that Verizon failed to follow through on its repair commitments and appointments, resulting in extended phone service outages for customers. The Office of the Attorney General, the Office of Public Counsel, and the AARP asked the PSC to issue the show cause order.
The PSC is committed to making sure that Florida's consumers receive their electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater services in a safe, affordable, and reliable manner. The PSC exercises regulatory authority over utilities in the areas of rate base/economic regulation; competitive market oversight; and monitoring of safety, reliability, and service.
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.